An Army reserve officer appealed a decision of the Claims Division which disallowed his claim for per diem while on active duty for training. The officer was ordered to active duty for a period of 35 days at the Army Service School, and he claimed per diem for this period. The officer indicated that his original orders required that he use Government quarters at the school. However, the officer requested a review of the regulations to determine whether authority existed for him to live off his post during this period. He stated that he was informed that certain Army regulations authorized his use of non-Government quarters. Following this, his orders were changed to use of non-Government quarters, and mess was not required. After the officer arrived at the school, the finance officer determined that the regulation cited in his order which purported to authorize him to reside in non-Government quarters was not applicable. Therefore, payment was not made on his claim for per diem expenses. The officer believed that the denial of his claim, on the basis of Joint Travel Regulations, was improper because the provisions pertain to reserve or retired members performing annual training duty and not to members who are on active duty or training. A reserve member who is called away from home to perform duty may be paid per diem even though he is not in a travel status. However, a reservist on duty at a station where mess and quarters are provided for him may not be paid a per diem. Since the authorizing statute was applicable to reserve members on annual training and on active duty for training and, since Government quarters and mess were available, GAO concluded that the officer was not entitled to per diem for the period of active duty for training. Accordingly, the settlement of the Claims Division was sustained.
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